10 Interesting unknown facts about Sergey Lavrov - Dispatch Weekly

March 3, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Sergey Lavrov or Sergei Ivanovich Lavrov, is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. He has been Russia’s top diplomat since 2004. Born 23 March 1950 in Moscow, Lavrov is a graduate of the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, and holds a Ph.D. degree in engineering and political science.

As a member of the United Russia party, he was previously the Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations, serving in the role from 1994 to 2004. He is under personal sanctions in the European Union, the United States and Canada for his role in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The 71-year-old’s diplomatic career has spanned half a century, meaning the straight-talking senior has lived and worked through the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union – watching as his country’s relations with the West went from near-friendly to the brink of nuclear war and back again.

Like many top Russian officials and oligarchs, Lavrov became the target of personal sanctions implemented by the EU when relations plummeted to a new low as Russian tanks rolled across the Ukrainian border.

But he is thought to own hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of property and other assets, and a report published last year revealed that Russia’s No1 diplomat has bankrolled the careers and personal lives of a secret mistress and her friends and family to boot.

Background of Sergey Lavrov

Sergey Lavrov was born on April 6, 1950 to a mixed ethnic family of Russian and Polish descent. His father was Jewish, his mother Christian. Growing up, the life expectancy for Russians in that time ranged between the ages of 17 and 47, so many things could have prevented Lavrov from being where he is now. Thankfully his mother’s deep religious convictions took hold which helped her family stay third generationally literate. Lavrov attended Leningrad State University with a degree in law and earned his Ph.D. like his father before him, stating after graduation from university: “For as long as we live upstairs at home, our father planted a garden downstairs.”

Yeltsin Prize Winner

This Russian politician became a prestigious member of the Russian establishment when he occupied different government positions in the 90s and 00s. He won the Russian Government’s prize “Elite”, which honors outstanding bureaucrats, as well as Yeltsin Prize, an award bestowed on citizens who contributed to Russia’s recovery from a national catastrophe.

Lavrov’s relationship with Gergei Ivanov

Sergei Ivanov was his classmate at the Institute for Foreign Relations and Gergei Ivanov’s father, since his school days, had been a major influence on him. Lavrov’s career began in 1970 in the Soviet reconnaissance service. His first foreign posting of 1979 was to Jamaica as a diplomat from the Soviet Aeroflot delegation. From 1982 to 1984 he served abroad with representatives of Soviet aviation turbines manufacturers

Crisis in Yugoslavia; diplomatic activism, 1999

In 1999 after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and the ouster of Milošević, Lavrov handled high-level negotiations for a political settlement. He also led initiatives to establish United Nations peacekeeping forces in Croatia and Kosovo as well as leading bilateral talks with both Slobodan Miloševic´ of then Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Pavel Ivanov’s of then Republic of Macedonia

Achievements while in office

Sergey Vladimirovich Lavrov was born on 29 March 1950 in Moscow. Lavrov graduated from high school with a gold medal in history, and holds a law degree from the Moscow State University in 1975. He also has a degree from the Foreign Ministry’s Academy for Diplomats’ Children (2003). Previously he served in the arm forces as a commissioned officer of an air defense unit of the Soviet Air Defence Forces.

Sergey Vladimirovich Lavrov wealth

A 2017 study of Russian oligarchs published by the U.S.-based National Economic Bureau estimated that as much as $800 billion is held by wealthy Russians in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Cyprus, and similar offshore banking centers. That vast fortune, held by a few hundred ultra-rich individuals, is roughly equal to the wealth of the entire rest of the Russian population of 144 million people.

Media and public attention

Sergey Lavrov is the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Russian Federation. He also worked as a diplomat from 1971 to 2004. In 2013, he won the World Peace Prize awarded by Mikhail Gorbachev’s foundation. Even though he always represented Russia and its interests to other countries with integrity, the media and public attention often put him in an unfavorable light.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.